37 Hours

Labor was absolutely nothing like what I expected. I'd watched all kinds of documentaries, read books, talked to 100 moms, met with my doula friend, and mentally prepared myself as much as possible, and couldn't have planned for the reality of my own labor.

Some of you are probably curious about Margot's birth, given that when announcing it I used the word "dramatic." It was dramatic to us, anyway. I woke up Sunday morning, 12/30, feeling tons of pain and pressure, enough that we stayed home from church so I could rest and get comfortable.  At 2pm, I started feeling contractions. It started very slowly. They weren't super painful or regular, so we relaxed as much as possible and made it through Fellowship of the Ring and the first half of The Two Towers. At that point we decided to get some rest while we could.

I slept for three hours and then woke up at 1am when the contractions were too strong to ignore. At that point they were just 3 minutes apart and we figured it was time to go to the hospital. We got admitted and I was only 3cm. While that was a bit discouraging, I knew that it could progress quickly, and really thought it would given that the contractions were strong and regular.

I hit a wall at 7cm. At that point, I'd already been laboring for over 24 hours, was hungry and exhausted, and felt I could hardly hold myself up. The hospital staff recommended that they break my water, and that would speed things up. She would be there by dinner time, with plenty of time to recover and watch that NYE ball drop. The ball drop came and went, and I still wasn't fully dilated.

Some time around 1:30 am on 1/1, they said it was time to push. At that point, they had not yet told me that I was running a fever or that Margot was sideways and not turned all the way, or that her heart rate was really high. All I knew was that I was exhausted and didn't know how in the world I was going to muster the strength to get her here, but my husband was whispering in my ear that I could do it, and that was what I needed to hear. So I pushed. And pushed.

After over two hours of pushing, the docs finally came and said that my fever was weakening my contractions, there was infection in my fluid around the baby, that her heart rate was indicating a lot of stress, and that it was time for them to cut her out.  Oddly, after all my plans of natural childbirth, I was relieved and even rejoicing over this. "Let's do it!" Kyle looked terrified, and then told our families who were also terrified.

They prepped me quickly and wheeled me away to the operating room where they gave me some incredible drugs.  "Thank you, Jesus!" I immediately felt relief and more alert than I had been in many, many hours. Kyle was surprised to walk in and find me calmly chatting with the OR staff. He and I chatted and even laughed while they did their jobs.

He stood and watched her come out, cut her umbilical cord, watched them clean her and weigh her, and then brought her to me. When we heard her cry for the first time, it did something to both of us. Something I'll probably never be able to explain. When I kissed her little cheeks and saw that mess of hair, I was so ecstatic that she was finally here, and thankful that we made it.


For the following days, I continued to fight a fever and very low blood pressure. I lost a lot of blood during the surgery and I am still dealing with the fluid loss, swelling, and general peakedness on top of the pain of having major surgery. Each day gets a bit better and I see that I can do a little more.

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man,

The purpose of the Lord for us was to bring home a beautiful, healthy baby girl, and He provided skilled people who helped us get her here as safely as possible, and family and friends who continue to support and take care of us in these early days as a family of three.  His purpose for us was and is grace upon grace, upon grace.


Thank you, Lord. Thank you, family. Thank you, friends. We love you all.


Lindsey said...

Awesome birth story. I'm sorry that everything didn't go as planned, but when does it really when kids are involved! LOL Margot is a beautiful gift from God. Congrats!

Kara Gehret said...

What a blessing! And, what a STORY! I'm so glad you all are doing well. Praying for you as you recover. Can't wait for our darling little girls to meet.

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

Goodness, what a story! But your description was beautiful - the skills of the staff around you was able to bring that beautiful little girl to you in a safe way. Congratulations!

sarah said...

i ran a fever and levi was a little bit sideways too! not fun. my contractions had started on their own but stopped after the fever set in. i have been right there! i sure hope you guys are doing well and adjusting well. she is gorgeous and you did a great job with labor and the c-section, i'm sure.